In the 1950s, it seemed unlikely that the United States could send an astronaut to the moon. However, the country’s best scientists banded together to make it happen. The CEO of the National Safety Council referenced that great achievement when announcing the organization’s new plan to eliminate all traffic deaths throughout the country, including in North Carolina, by 2050.

To reach that goal, the NSC formed the Road to Zero Coalition, a 675-member safety group that includes trucking companies, trucking industry associations and trucking suppliers. On April 22, the coalition released a report outlining the ways the nation could reduce traffic deaths to zero within the next three decades. The suggestions include increasing seat belt usage to 100 percent, accelerating the implementation of safety technologies in motor vehicles and addressing road safety issues like speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving. The report also recommends improving the road-sharing relationship between passenger vehicles and commercial trucks.

The Road to Zero program comes at a time when U.S. traffic fatalities are on the rise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 37,461 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2016. This was a 5.6 percent increase over 2015. Of those deaths, 4,317 were killed in collisions involving large trucks. That number represents a 5.4 percent increase over the previous year.

The victim of a truck accident caused by negligence may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation. If the complaint is successful, it could lead to a settlement that covers medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other crash-related losses. An attorney could review a victim’s case and recommend the appropriate course of legal action.